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Ladies are special, indeed!

Why we don’t have specialised exercise machines and centres for women. Shikha Sharma tells us why there are so many differences between women and men.
Hindustan Times | By Shikha Sharma
UPDATED ON JUN 27, 2009 07:36 PM IST

I’ve always wondered why we don’t have specialised exercise machines and centres for women. Because there are many differences between women and men. These are:

* Women have a lower ratio of lean muscle to fat than men. They also have different areas of strength. Women’s muscles respond very differently to exercises biologically as well.
* Women’s needs are different. Women need to retain some fat on their faces to avoid hollow cheeks and under-eye wrinkles and to achieve a softer, younger look. They just need to knock the fat off their chins and under the jaw line.
* Fat distribution among women is also different from men. Plus, men and women are ruled by different sets of hormones. Female sex hormones fluctuate along with the menstrual cycle and anyone with a knowledge of biology would know that they affect many aspects – fat metabolism, food cravings, fat deposition, water retention and emotions.
* Women’s bodies have different angles. The centre of gravity is lower and the way a woman walks, sits and carries her weight is because of the way the pelvic bones and the bones of the arms are aligned. So some exercises need to be designed differently for women to benefit from them. The range of movement is also different.
* A woman needs strength in different areas than a man. For instance, the lower abdomen for childbirth, and the lower back, which takes a lot of pressure.
* A woman needs to maintain strength in the core muscles which maintain the strength of the torso.

So women need different exercise machines and routines that are responsive to their menstrual cycles, a different diet, different treatments for skin, and the use of techniques like yoga and pilates. A sensitive coach will also help.

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